Media Center Interviews

March 30, 2022

Pre-Tournament Interview with Corey Conners

DOUG MILNE: Corey Conners, like to welcome the 2019 Valero Texas Open winner here.

Corey, thanks for coming in for a few minutes. I know obviously a nice place for you to come back to. 2020, a little bit of an interruption, but you came back last year, top-15 finish. So just some thoughts on being back here this week.

COREY CONNERS: Yeah, I've got some great memories at this place. It's a very special place to me and always will be. Love the golf course. Staying right here makes it a really easy, fun week. Feel good about my game coming off some good finishes over the last little bit. Really excited to give it another run and see what we can do.

DOUG MILNE: Speaking of the good finishes, take you back to Austin last week. You said it was a good week, it was close, it was a long week. Just a few thoughts and kind of a recap on how pleased you are with as far as you made it.

COREY CONNERS: Yeah, it's always nice to move on in that event. It was my first time making it out of the first group, didn't fare as well last year, but a format that I really like, a format that I thought I could do really well in, so I was happy to have made it to the weekend, won matches on Saturday making it to the semifinals. A little sour to have lost on Sunday morning, but to come back in the afternoon, win the consolation match was sort of an added bonus.

I definitely took a lot of confidence from the week and love that format. Looking -- one of my big goals this year is to make the Presidents Cup team where, you know, match play format, getting comfortable in those situations, played some big matches that were do or die and was able to get some victories. Definitely a lot of positives from that and feel really good about my game overall.

DOUG MILNE: And one last question from me: You touched on it, you're playing some really good golf right now, top-15 at Bay Hill, Top 30 at THE PLAYERS Championship and then obviously last week. What is it that you're feeling most confident with?

COREY CONNERS: Yeah, I feel like ball striking's a big strength of my game and I feel like I've been pretty sharp for that for the most part. I feel like I'm driving it really well and hitting my irons really well, and to complement that I feel like my short game and putting are finally improving, getting a little more consistent. Especially last week, I made a lot of big putts when needed. I felt like my short game was quite good and that part of my game sort of helped me kind of get up to the next level. Still haven't quite put it all together for one week, but I've definitely been close and I'm happy with the way things are trending.

Q. Corey, is there anything about this course or this tournament that sets it up to be a particularly useful tune-up for the Masters as you look ahead to next week a little bit?

COREY CONNERS: Yeah, the golf course is a little different style-wise, but for me, I like to hit the ball right to left off the tee. That's important at Augusta and I think that fits really well here, so it can really kind of dial in tee shots. There's possibly some variety of clubs off the tees here as there is at Augusta, but just being comfortable seeing that shot shape I think here translates really well into Augusta.

It's always nice to check in where your game's at the week before there as well. This is definitely a tough test, so if there's any areas that, you know, you're struggling with, it will certainly be exposed out here and something that you maybe try and sharpen up in pretty quick order to get ready for Augusta because you need everything there.

The course is always in really great condition here, they do a good job with the setup and just I see, you know, my natural shot seems to fit really well on a lot of these holes, which I like. That's why I like the golf course so much. It's quite demanding, you've got to be precise with your tee shots and iron shots, which is similar to Augusta.

Q. And this year is the 100th anniversary of the Texas Open. Being a past winner and now kind of a part of that history in recent years, what does that milestone mean to you, if anything?

COREY CONNERS: It's incredible. I feel like I'm getting old at 30 years old and 100's quite a bit older than that. It's pretty amazing the history and the tradition of this event being around for 100 years. It's great to be a champion of any event, but this event with so much history is definitely very special and it's pretty impressive for it to have been around for 100 years. I'm sure that number will keep climbing into the future. They do a great job here, it's an awesome event, an event that I'm excited to keep playing for as long as I can.

Q. Does this event have any kind of identity or something in particular that sets it apart from the rest of the PGA Tour calendar?

COREY CONNERS: We play great courses in great cities every single week. The one thing that's unique about this place, being here, kind of a resort and staying on site, love that. Makes it really easy, really convenient. I have my wife and daughter here, it's great for the family. That aspect sort of away from the course is really easy and the convenience is great.

You know, I think this golf course has a reputation of being fairly challenging and fairly demanding as well. Not dissimilar to some other courses that we play, but it's definitely one that's really special for me.

DOUG MILNE: Easy enough. Corey, thanks for coming in. We appreciate it.